Would you rather buy a phone at its full pricing or sign up with a contract to get a discount?

Discussion in Landline & Mobile Phone Networks started by maryannballeras • Nov 15, 2014.

  1. maryannballeras

    maryannballerasMember

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    I currently have a smartphone that I bought at its full retail pricing. I'm wondering, though, whether I can really save a lot of money if I just get a brand new phone with a contract? I know that I'll have to stick in to the company for at least two years if I choose to do that. Any thoughts on this?
     
  2. batgirl

    batgirlMember

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    Unless you want a really top of the range phone, I don't think it is worth signing up for a contract, particularly now pay as you go tariffs are so competitive. For example, I am on the Giffgaff network and so is my husband and we can call and text each other for free. I pay £10 a month and get 500 minutes, 1GB internet data and unlimited texts. My husband pays £5 a month for 60 minutes, 300 texts, 20MB data and if he receives calls from non-Giffgaff numbers he gets extra minutes added to his allowance.

    Previously I have had contract phones paying about £35 a month for not much of a better deal and over 18 months that is a lot of money.
     
  3. Sugarhill

    SugarhillActive Member

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    There is rarely a situation where you save money by going on contract. In all instances, by the time you've gone through the contract, you've paid much more than you would've for the phone. Having said that, if you are going to buy the phone to avoid the contract, then make sure you are buying a phone that is free of any carrier application bloat. If it's your phone, then it should be free of any obligations to a carrier and that includes their apps and any deals they've made with other corporations to place various things on your phone.
     
  4. calebmelvern

    calebmelvernActive Member

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    I hate paying monthly fees. My rule is if I can afford something in cash, I'll buy it. Otherwise, I won't. I've always bought my gadgets at their full price. You won't save money by signing up for a contract.
     
  5. clairebeautiful

    clairebeautifulActive Member

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    I am on a no-contract month-by-month plan, but we don't buy our phones brand new, outright. We buy the best we can get, used. That means, right now, we've just upgraded to iPhone 5's. Both my husband and I paid $200 a piece for the phones, two chargers, and several cases for them. They are in great condition and are such a huge step up from our 4's that they feel brand new to me.

    Our month-by-month plans are half the price of what we paid for a contract plan and we get more "features" now than we did before. I'll never go back to contract cell phone plans.
     
  6. Feneth

    FenethActive Member

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    I'm with clairebeautiful. I prefer to buy last year's phone (which is still a step up from my 2-3 year old phone) at a lower price on craigslist. I love how they typically come with chargers, cases, and all of the other accessories I would have ended up buying separately like car mounts. I like to have a nice phone but nice to me doesn't need to be brand new. My most recent phone was 'new' but instead of buying something name-brand I bought a no-name smartphone on craigslist. It's fast and works really well. There's a slightly cheap feel to the phone but a case made me less worried about breaking it or scratching the lower quality screen. And the price was less than half of a comparable quality name-brand phone. I've been very happy with it.

    My husband has a different opinion about that though. He really doesn't feel happy unless he has the cutting edge new phone. Every time there's one he wants (every 10-12 months), we have the same debate over signing up for a contract for a cheaper initial price or paying full. Ultimately, we pay full price for the phone for two reasons. The first is that you can't get a contract upgrade as often as he wants a new phone anyway. The second reason is that every time we calculate the actual cost of the phone paid out over the course of the contract, including the higher monthly fees and the weird hidden taxes added on contracts, it costs more in the long run to pay less up front.
     
  7. nonsiccus

    nonsiccusActive Member

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    I'm lucky enough to have my cell phone 100% covered by work, so I was able to pick up a Nexus 5 for "free" while also having them foot the monthly bill to the amount of $100/mo. This actually is a net gain for me since my cellphone plan is just over $70/mo.

    Prior to this though, I had signed up for a contract plus phone and found the entire experience to be rather negative. Given the choice in the future it'll be month-to-month with a self-bought phone.
     
  8. blasianchick

    blasianchickNew Member

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    I have owned a Samsung Note 2 smart phone for like 2 years now. I bought it new at full price, around $800 USD when It first released. My phone service was through T-Mobile, who offered an unlimited monthly plan for $50.

    I believe you actually save money to buy the phone at full price. The reduced price with a 2 year contract adds up to more money if you factor in the monthly plan cost after 2 years. And there's no guarantee you will still be using that phone after 2 years. Most cell phones are designed to start acting up after a year so you are forced to upgrade or buy something else before your contract is over.

    I didn't even end up using the cell phone service the entire time I've had this phone. I haven't had it connected for over a year now. I have wifi in my home where I usually am so I never need to pay an extra fee for data on my phone. I don't use this cell phone to talk to people. I use a house phone and an alternate non smart phone to talk to people. I mainly use my Note 2 to go on the internet, watch Netflix, email and take photos/videos. In fact, I've downloaded apps that allow me to make free calls if I have wifi access. So I haven't needed to use the phone's plan. If I'd had a contract, I wouldn't have been able to turn off the monthly service when I didn't need it anymore. And it would have been more of a hassle trying to upgrade or replace this phone if I'd decided to switch to a different one.

    Contracts are a scam if you ask me. Not enough choice or freedom.
     
  9. Theo

    TheoWell-Known Member

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    You don't actually save money when you are on a contract as the phone devalues and you can't change the contract to get a better tariff which is why people get trapped into contracts and try to buy themselves out. It's like buying a phone and paying it off monthly with interest.

    The best thing to do is buy your own phone and have a sim separately and then choose your tariff. That way you can change or sell your phone whenever you want. It also depends on who you are with as I know Verizon are bad, charging line rental fees and extras on top.
     
  10. downsouth

    downsouthMember

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    I guess there are pros and cons to both. You get to keep the phone if you buy one but by the time a contract is up your phone is probably out dated and worn out anyway. I currently have a Verizon family plan and we got 2 smart phones for $80. They retail for probably 5x that amount. Maybe more.
     
  11. downsouth

    downsouthMember

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    I am pretty sure you can upgrade your phone if you have a plan with a phone company after a certain time period. If you buy your own phone then you still have to deal with the wear and tear and it becoming out dated when more advanced phones are released. With a plan you can upgrade your phone either in the middle of your plan or whenever you chose to terminate and sign a new contract (I have to check this though). You are right about Verizon and their fees but they recently made their texting and voice unlimited which was a huge plus.
     
  12. Theo

    TheoWell-Known Member

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    My brother actually works in the industry so he tells me what the best deals are and contracts with phones that are locked are pretty much difficult to sell on or those that don't use sim cards. He gives me phones so I am lucky I don't have to buy them.

    You can't actually upgrade until after a year and then the prices are not worth it. You get a better deal with a whole new contract, I tried to help friends with a Verizon and a T-Mobile account. I know Verizon won't even let you change your contract unless you go in and cause a fuss, (which we did and they did after putting on an act of crying etc). Basically my old landlady had bought a phone on a 2 year contract which it's resale value on ebay was $35 and her buyout contract to leave was $175. You can sign a new contract as long as the the value is higher and not lower, but that's pointless as you tie yourself in and lose any bargaining power for discounts.

    Staff can offer retention discounts, but if you are in a contract already, they don't because they know they still have you, that's why starting a new contract after the period is better.
     
  13. Mockingbird

    MockingbirdActive Member

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    I need to get a new phone and my contract offers a replacement. I don't mind so much starting a new contract as mine tend to run out years in advance. I don't change phones to often. I have Verizon family plan. What I don't like and where they seem to stick it to you is when you turn on a new phone or upgrade the service. For some crazy reason they need to shut off and reconnect all three phones and charge you a fee for each one of those. I think that's sort of wrong. I don't see why they have to do that, Last time my son upgraded his phone there was a charge of $30 a line, the joke is he just had to put in a three digit code, no one did anything, nothing was shut off or changed. I felt scammed.
     
  14. downsouth

    downsouthMember

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    But aren't you already getting a huge discount on the phone itself ?Phones that go for $200-300 apiece you get for $80 if you sign a contract. If you buy a phone you are going to most definitely keep it for more than a year anyway. So if you can upgrade your phone at the end of a year when tied down to a contract I only see this as a plus. Personally I prefer to pay the lowest price possible on electronics because they devalue the minute you walk out the store with them.
     
  15. nonsiccus

    nonsiccusActive Member

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    It may differ between providers and countries, but the phone's contract price basically gets it cost lumped in to the multi-year contract. That's guaranteed business that the provider gets over the next X years, and usually, that means that your plan is going to be slightly more expensive than the same plan at month-to-month with no phone.

    BYOD is getting more popular in my area, since you end up saving a bit of money over the long term if you're willing to pay upfront for your phone.
     
  16. DancingLady

    DancingLadyActive Member

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    The problem with a contract and monthly payments is that if you had to cancel for any reason, you have to pay the remaining balance for the phone, which you might not have the money for if something should happen. Also, phones depreciate pretty quickly since they are always coming out with new ones every year, so I don't think it is wise to not pay in full for the phone right away. It's just not something I would want hanging over my head. What if the phone got damaged before it was even paid off? Accidents can happen, I would hate to still owe $300 or so on something that was broken.
     
  17. Onionman

    OnionmanActive Member

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    I'm more of a fan of getting the phone outright, though more recently I decided to get a contract with a discount. I kind of like the idea of being able to jump around providers and contracts, hence I like the freedom of not having a contract. And if I can get a decent deal from a provider then I'm fine with that. I don't actually need to keep upgrading my phone anyway.
     
  18. Mika

    MikaMember

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    It really depends on if the contract is worth the cost. Say you want a brand new $300 phone, but you could get that for free if you sign up with whatever phone company. To it worth it, you would have to be spending less than $12.50 ($300/24 months) extra per month to make it worth having the contract. If you want to go with a slightly lower model and buy the phone used, let's say for $100 then it would be $4.17 extra per month. In my experience, I can save far more than that by not having a contract. Right now my mobile bill is less than $20/month. Previously I was paying $60/month at Verizon.

    It mainly depends on if you really need that higher end phone, or if you're willing to step down a bit and get an older model. If you don't have to have that brand new model, then it will almost always be cheaper to just buy the phone rather than having a contract. Not to mention, if you're unhappy with the service you can just end it without a nasty fee.

    A good example is Verizon vs StraightTalk. With the right phone, StraightTalk will run off of Verizon towers - so you get the same coverage.
    My Verizon bill was $60/month for unlimited talk, text, and some data. Straight talk is $45 (and no extra nasty fees like Verizon does!) but I had to buy my own phone. We're going to go with a cheaper phone here. Verizon is offering it for free, and I decide to buy a phone off StraightTalk for $300. Over 2 years, I would have spent $1440 with Verizon or $1380 with StraightTalk. Same coverage, same phone, same minutes/texts (with more data with StraightTalk), but you're still saving money even with buying that $300 phone. Now let's say you don't need unlimited and you're happy with the lower plan $30 plan (which can be upgraded or downgraded at will). StraightTalk then drops down to $1020.

    Of course, different networks may charge less, but if you look around nearly ever big name company has a little name using their towers for cheaper.

    So, from what I've seen:
    It's always cheaper to buy your own phone rather than buy a plan.
     
  19. Jamille

    JamilleActive Member

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    I was on a postpaid plan years ago that gave me a free phone and tied me to a 30-month contract. I didn't feel that it was worth it and I could have saved more money had I just bough the unit on zero % installment and opted for a prepaid plan. For one, the contract locked the phone to the telecom company so that alone limited my usage and control over the phone. With prepaid, I would have recouped the cost of the phone in less than a year and I can still freely use two sim cards to fill the dual sim slot.
     
  20. Ray1

    Ray1Well-Known Member

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    I would rather buy on its full price and pay as per my use and choice of service provider. I do not want to live under a contract or pay a monthly fee for a little discount. I have not changed my service providers (I have 2) for last decade but I have switched to prepaid connections because it gives me freedom from paying unnecessarily on time bound bills.